JIRA Service Desk: Managing customers in JIRA Service Desk

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JIRA Service Desk customers are users who create requests for the service team to work on. They do not have access to the service desk interface in JIRA used by agents. Customers do not consume JIRA Service Desk licenses or JIRA user licenses. In other words, customers are completely free and unlimited.

Customers can:

  • Create requests and track their own requests
  • Add comments to their own requests
  • Add comments to requests on which they have been made a participant
  • Add comments on requests that are shared with an organization they are a member of

Every customer must have an account to create requests. They need to log in to use the Customer Portal. When customers contact your service desk with the email channel for the first time, new user accounts will automatically be created for them if public signup is enabled. If your service desk project is configured to allow public signup, a customer can cc: recipients in their original email and those recipients will be created as customer accounts as well.

If the service desk does not allow public signup, emails sent by unregistered email addresses are not processed. 


All purchases of JIRA Service Desk made on and after 10 September 2014 are on the version 2 license, i.e. the new agent-based pricing model. For instructions on user management for version 1 license, see Setting up users with the version 1.x pricing.

Managing customers and their requests

You can find customers and the requests they created in your service desk by using the Customers section on the project sidebar. We refer to this section as the customer list. You can search for customers that do not appear on the list.

To look at requests created by a customer, use the Open requests and Closed requests columns on the list. 

Adding customers

There are a number of ways to add customers to your service desk. 

Allowing customers to sign up for user accounts

Public signup allows your customers to create accounts themselves. As new customers sign up, they will be added to your service desk's customer list.

To enable public signup, see Configuring public signup.

Adding customers to your service desk manually

To add customers manually:

  1. In your service desk, click Customers on the project sidebar.
  2. Click the Add customers button, and enter the email addresses of the customers. You may enter multiple email addresses here, or copy/paste multiple email addresses.
    Note: Mailing lists do not work.

Invited customers will then receive an email invitation that links them to your Customer Portal. They can log in to your portal if their email already exists in the system, or they will need to fill in details for their account and set the password after landing on the portal. 

Customers are added as members of the Service Desk Customers role automatically after you invite them to your service desk.

Adding customers to your service desk by groups with the project role

You can also add customers by adding them to the Service Desk Customers project role.

  1. Open the service desk in the administration console, go to Administration > Projects.
  2. Choose your service desk.
  3. Open the Users and Roles section from the sidebar.
  4. Click the Add users to a role link. You can enter individual users or groups.
  5. Select Service Desk Customers from the drop-down menu below the users/groups you're adding.
  6. Click Add

The users in the groups you added will then have customer access to your service desk.


Notes on using Atlassian Crowd to manage customers

If you want to set up default groups for customers, use caution and do not use any groups that have application permissions associated with them. This could unintentionally cause your customers to be considered paid users. If you want JIRA users, JIRA Service Desk customers, or both to be added to default groups, you need to use separate directories in Crowd for each type of user. Make sure that the default groups for JIRA Service Desk customers do not have the JIRA User global permission.

If you use Atlassian Crowd and its single sign-on (SSO) capabilities to manage users:

  • In order for public signup to work, in JIRA, set the Crowd permission to be Read/Write. To do this, go to User management > User directories.
  • When configuring who can authenticate to JIRA via Crowd, if you have customers that do not belong to groups, make sure you select the setting that allows all users in the directory to authenticate. See Mapping a Directory to an Application.

Additional Information

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Last modified on Dec 15, 2016

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